Perspective on Texas’ Greenhouse Gas Permitting Program

Posted on in Press Releases
Texas is the only state in the Union that refuses to comply with federal law to address and control dangerous and harmful carbon air pollution.The Clean Air Acts requirements as they relate to carbon pollution are both reasonable and clear, yet the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ignores federal law, placing the Texas economy and jobs in jeopardy and putting every Texan’s health at risk.

These reasonable and clearly defined requirements set forth by the EPA require the largest, new industrial facilities, as well as those existing industrial facilities undergoing major renovation, to receive permits and demonstrate that they are using the most advanced, available technology to control carbon pollution before they begin operating.  In many cases, this requirement is as simple, cost-effective and reasonable as installing energy-efficient boiler systems or using cleaner-burning fuel sources.

Yet, Texas has filed a dozen legal challenges of EPA regulations over the past year.

And, to date, adding insult to injury, most of their legal challenges have been rebuffed, including this week’s ruling on the state’s GHG program by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court that concluded that Texas officials have not met “the stringent standards required for a stay.”

For a state that prides itself on its pro-business climate and record-setting job creation prowess, its move against the EPA couldn’t be more anti-business and anti-jobs.

Texas businesses are not able to get the legal pollution control permits they need to expand business, hire more workers and quite literally fuel the Texas economy until this state takes responsibility to revise its outdated rules and come into compliance with federal law.

We believe the EPA does have a responsibility to help states ensure public health and protect the public from harmful pollution, especially when a state refuses to comply.

Texas could and should be moving toward a greener, cleaner energy mix, cleaner fuel sources and, ultimately in due time, an abandonment of more highly polluting coal and petroleum coke for our state’s power generation.

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